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February 25, 2010

The love of my life is reading. Always has been, always will be. I remember when I was young, my father would take me to the public library every Saturday morning. I would check out ten books, every week. I would meticulously count them, read the backs, lay them out on the floor and bargain with myself and my dad. He maintained that 1o was the library limit, in fact he maintained it long past our weekly visits and well into my teen years, until one day when I was seventeen I casually inquired at the front desk and was told, inexplicably that the library limit was FIFTY. Fifty! Fifty books or magazines or movies a week. Dad sure got an earful after that.

I also remember my very first big girl book. The very first time we went to the library, I chose myself a slim little volume: a Nancy Drew Junior mystery. As soon as we got home, I burrowed away in my room for a couple urgent hours, before running down to tell my dad I’d finished. I was probably five or six at the time (in addition to loving reading, I also learned at a very young age, I think I was four) and he didn’t believe me! I was so upset! My own father didn’t believe me. Luckily, my little brain had loved the stories, and as dad skimmed the book and asked me questions about the content (he really, truly didn’t believe me) I aced every one.

Reading has always been a part of my life; I received books at every birthday and every Christmas, my father writes them as a hobby, my mom loves short stories, my sisters love different kinds (Lindsay: fluffy, rich-girl stories that I, too, love; and Bronwyn: fantasy series, Lord of the Rings and the like). I must add at this point that I never read all ten of the books, it was humorous to my parents that I continued to get ten each week, but it was because I loved the choice, seeing them all laid out on my floor and being able to choose which one to read next. As I grew older, working at bookstores and frequenting second-hand stores on my lunch hour, I collected my own version of that ‘ten-a-week’ choice. I now have stacks of books that I either own or have taken borrowed from my parents on bookshelves around my room at home. It’s one of my least favourite things about university: not being surrounded by books or having the time to read them.

Which is why, my dears, over reading week 2010, I managed the impossible. I read a total of five books, cover to cover, and counting with two days left to go. They were:

Sway: the Irresistable Pull of Irrational Behaviour by Ori and Rom Brafman; Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane; Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich; The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald; and What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell.

Whew. I can safely say that is the most books I have ever read in such a short period of days, but that I am supremely happy! I chose a strategic tactic this time: with the exception of What the Dog Saw (which, I must admit, I had read a little of the day before reading week) I chose only relatively short books. This is why the number is so impressive, but they were all books I had been meaning to read and I had to read them at some point so choosing the thinner books allowed me to read on many different subjects rather than choosing one large book to read throughout the week. Anyways, I’m giving myself quite the pat on the back, I am glad to see that my ability to read in great volumes is not lost because of university!

On the future reading list: No Logo, Einstein, Lolita, Sirens of Titan, How the Mind Works, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, An Imperfect Offering, The World Without Us, Disgrace…

And at that point, the ratio of read to unread books on my shelf would come much too close for my liking and I’d have to rush out to the store to replenish!!

My hope, as always, is to be able to keep reading when I get back to school, but, as always, I have my doubts (and past experience) to say that I won’t. Luckily, this summer will provide tons of opportunities to read to my heart’s content: no looming schoolwork, just a job during the day and maybe some friends at night. Speaking of friends! Shoshanah and Apoorva are coming over to my real house tomorrow for a dinner party! Well, it’s just us, but that’s all you need for a party I believe. My mommy will be cooking us a delicious meal, and I’ll be helping out, learning how to cook better and serving my delicious cupcakes I made a couple days ago. I’ll post the recipes and pictures just as soon as I get my camera cord..

Love y’all

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